My Favorite Things!

Spring has arrived, finally, in Maine! I had completely forgotten that i planted these bulbs last year and it was the sweetest surprise when they popped up out of the dirt! I’ll add more because there’s nothing better than true signs of spring after a long winter!

When I was in New York City a couple of weeks ago, I visited Knitty City on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. What a lovely shop, and what welcoming people! I really enjoyed browsing the local yarns and I always like to see what shops carry that is different from what we carry at the Yardgoods Center.

I bought a couple of skeins of a new-to-me yarn dyed locally to New York. One fingering weight sock yarn and a mohair to go with it. I also bought a set of circular needles that I have learned are now my favorite needles. Chiao Goo Red Lace (with the red cord that has no memory!) The cords make knitting so much easier and I wish I had a complete set of them. We sell a set of interchangeable needles at our shop and they may have to be my next acquisition!!! I love them.

Thank you to our customer Kelly who introduced me to the Chiao Goo Red Lace needles by gifting me a US7 16 inch needle. It was such a nice surprise and I’ve, obviously, decided that I love it! They’ve got the best sharp tips and those cords are to die for!

On another note, I have finished my ginormous Boxet Bag with a pocket! It’s pretty heavy all by itself but I really like the way it turned out and I like the orange edge with the rainbow stripes! I’m not sure where this Boxet will be living but for now, it’s standing by itself in my studio.

Gone knitting.

Leg Warmers in Process

My daughter the actor wants a pair of leg warmers for Christmas. I love that she asked me to make them for her! Love it! And so, I got on Ravelry and found several patterns for her to give me an idea of what she had in her mind. This child knows what she wants!

The pattern that she liked is by Drops Designs and can be found here. They’re considered leg warmers or yoga socks. Yoga socks don’t have toes or heels. Leg warmers are over the knee length. So, when I was in New York visiting her (and seeing her show on Broadway) we went to Soho and visited Purl Soho. Oh. My. God! Talk about a little piece of heaven! I didn’t get nearly enough time to browse adequately … and I probably could have spent a couple of hours in the store. The colors, the fibers, the light wood and tea and it was so busy!

The Queen Bee at Purl Soho

I was so enthralled with the shop that I forgot to take photos inside! Sorry!

She picked a Madeline Tosh yarn in two colors and wants me to do the pattern design. (The Drops pattern was in a self-patterning yarn and much more .) The yarn is Madeline Tosh’s Tosh Sport (100% superwash merino wool; 270 yards; 5-6 sts = 1 inch) The colors that she chose are warm mushroom, a lovely neutral that is warm and the color of mushrooms – aptly named. The second color is fig. A deep, rich, reddish-brown that is a lovely contrast with the warm mushroom.

My swatch (yes, I made a swatch for this project!) was perfect! On the money – 26 stitches and 13 rows!

Swatched Stitches!

The yarn is yummy to knit with – and I am moving right along! As I’m knitting and designing at the same time, I am never sure if I’ll love the pattern. But I am pleased with it. The sample shown in the pattern is much more pattern-y so I had to make sure she was liking the direction I was taking. (I texted Kate a picture today for the stamp of approval and she liked it.) This is the picture that I texted to her …

Leg Warmer #1 … is on the needles!

So far, so good! Only about 36 inches left to knit. (Oh, yeah, and did I mention that I still have to knit two Christmas stockings?) Did I tell you before that I love knitting? Well, I do! I just hope that they fit her legs!

Gone Knitting!

Finishing and Starting Over Again

The other day it was miserably cold and rainy and we were beginning to have a bit of cabin fever. Late in the afternoon, however, the weather changed and we had a lovely double rainbow on the other side of the lake. Clear. Colorful. Perfect in every way! And then the rain came back with a vengence.

I liked being reminded (thanks Mother Nature!) that every day is a new opportunity to start over again. Sometimes we get to start over more than once. Life is full of choices – the question is whether we make an effort to start over … or not.

When I got home after four days on the road and on the run, I was exhausted and a little bit cranky (hard to believe, I know!) When I found out that my daughter went to bed at ten, I didn’t feel quite so badly that I went to bed at nine thirty. I started over several times in those couple of cranky, tired, sensitive days.

I’ve been able to start and finish several knitting projects, too. Started a pair of socks with my Maine Fiber Frolic “Maine Lobstah” sock yarn. Loving the way it is knitting up – bright and so lobstery! FInished the cute little sweater for the baby-to-be also in bright rainbow colors – perfect to start a new winter season in! Finished the “Lakeside Log Cabin” baby blanket with a crocheted edge to give it a really stable, finished-looking edge. Started and (almost) finished a couple of loads of laundry today and have been enjoying the sunny day and an opportunity to sit on the front porch (aka my Northern Atelier) in the sun and cool breeze.

I like the idea of starting a new day every day. Giving myself a new opportunity to pursue my dreams. I still dream of owning a yarn shop. A place that is warm and welcoming and has two little dogs to greet customers. Where I can teach knitting and be surrounded by the fiber that I love so much. I’d love to learn to spin and teach spinning and maybe even weaving. One day maybe pottery too (.. what a mess pottery would make in a yarn shop!) But certainly it will be a place where my personality is infused in every corner – happy, warm, honest, sincere, always learning, full of love. I also dream of traveling in my RV – doesn’t have to be huge or fancy. Just warm and safe.

So, off I go to finish some projects and to start some new ones. Every day I am learning more about myself and just how little I really need to be content in my own skin. I keep simplifying and it’s all good!

Gone knitting!